Tag Archives: monolord

HRH Doom vs Stoner

O2 Academy Sheffield 29th September 2019.

Well sadly, all good things must come to an end and I guess that’s true as this is the final Doom v Stoner event that HRH are putting on. It would appear that they’ve exhausted this genre and can no longer fill it with worthy bands that no ones already seen before – like Orange Goblin, who’ve headlined three out of the four events. That said, I still managed to discover some new bands today! All is not lost as it’s being replaced with Goth, which joins the ever popular Punk and Viking events to keep us entertained.

As this is the last one, I’m going to keep this short and to the point and mostly talk about the bands that blew me away on the day.

Alunah were up first and after re-discovering this lot at Uprising earlier this month, I was super excited about getting to see this band play again, on the main stage that the O2 Academy has. Although they were up first, there was a respectable crowd in attendance which was re-assuring as others had clearly made the effort to see Alunah perform. What I didn’t realise was that they only performed tracks off the current EP and the new album, although I can be forgiven for this as up until this point, I hadn’t heard the new album! Thankfully, the band have kindly given me a promo copy to listen to and trust me, it’s everything I hoped it would be! I have vowed to purchase a copy of the new album on vinyl, the splatter one hopefully so save me one for the pending tour at the end of the year, or in early 2020 please! Sure, the band are considered a doom band but this album is anything but! After getting the chance to interview the band, which you can watch here. I know they’ve purposely tried to have more fun with their latest offering, entitled ‘Violet Hour’, opting for a more bluesy tempo compared to their older material. Their gamble has paid off in my book as like the band we see before us now, it’s a new start, with new music, that’s forging a future which looks bright and promising. I’m expecting this album to catapult this band into the uppermost stratosphere, I just hope there’s still venues and events they can play at as everyone needs to check this band out!

Red Spektor followed on the main stage, with a nice long one hour set that gave them plenty of time to perform an array of music from both their back catalogue and from their yet to be released new album. It was a set we could properly immerse and lose ourselves in and transport us to a hedonistic and psychedelic world that very few bands can successfully transport us to so well! No details are available on the release of their new album but we did talk at length about it’s pending release, so if you’re a fan like we are, then check out our interview.

You could consider the first two acts as both blues/doom and psychedelic/stoner, Oak however, were full on hard hitting stoner and really woke everyone back up with their high energy, hard hitting riff machine! Their bio states they tried to sound like Kyuss, but fucked it up, that’s funny, but not nearly as funny as seeing vocalist Andy with his shirt off! Still, you could tell he couldn’t care less what I or anyone else thinks of that as he was too busy loving every minute of his time up on the main stage! I really like this band from London – Desertfest, get on these guys!

Ten Ton Slug, thankfully made the long trip over the Irish sea to entertain us today and were next up on the main stage. These guys followed on well after Oak, as they too were very energetic with some killer sludge fuelled riffs but unlike Oak, everyone’s heard of these guys which was helped largely by their triumphant performance on the Sophie Stage at Bloodstock this year! Yeah, these guys are right up there on the fucking rocks list, check um out!

Remember I said I’m still discovering bands, well Dead Witches are one such band. I’m both thankful I now have these in my life and can include their latest album ‘The Final Exorcism’ within my listening pleasure but I’m also miffed it’s taken me this long to discover them! I’ve no idea how long they’ve been around as the bands bio doesn’t tell me, although it’s not that important. I did however discover this band are also signed to the same record label ‘Heavy Psych Sounds’ as Alunah and many of the other great acts I love, so that’s exciting! Horror doom, is the genre they go by or music to dig graves to, that said, by the time their set was up, the O2 Academy literally looked like a grave yard, complete with dead bodies as everyone in attendance moshed themselves to death! I absolutely loved this band, their sound, their persona’s, as did my camera as they are very photogenic, well Soozi, their lead vocalist was as the other three were hidden in a cloud of smoke! Soozi is a born entertainer and I couldn’t help myself being hypnotised by her dance moves and her voice!

Our headliners for today and closing the final HRH Doom V Stoner was non other than Monolord, who, in my opinion, have written the best doom track EVER, entitled ‘Empress Rising’ which they played as their final song and was a fitting tribute to this genre! Although I’ve managed to catch these guys before at Desertfest back in 2016, when they opened the Sunday at KOKO, its great to see them three years on and this time headlining! Despite this being my second experience of Monolord, I do wish it was more but as they’re from Gothenburg, Sweden, they don’t venture this way too often – that needs to change, tour the UK more please guys, love you!

I’m now undecided as to what HRH events I’d like to cover in the future for music224, I’m liking the look of Vikings, which happens at the end of November and I’d love to cover HRH Metal again, early 2020 as that’s always a great event. HRH Punk also looks good too, although I’m not a punk fan but I do appreciate many of the acts that grace that genre. HRH Goths would also be a great event to attend but from a photographers perspective, stage lighting often associated with this genre can prove challenging as red light tends to be a popular choice – less smoke would be great too, although a little smoke does help to allow the colours to bleed together. Anyway, I’m rambling now but the point I’m trying to make is that HRH continue to provide some quality events throughout the year and keep our appetites for live music, wet!

Until next time, be good and look out for each other!

To see more photographs from the day, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)


Unleash Third album RUST out September 29th.

Gothenburg, Sweden trio Monolord share the title track and details on their highly anticipated third album Rust today, Now Streaming.. Monolord is a rare breed: A band both encompassing and transcending genre; a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase in short order since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band’s third full length, truly exemplifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom.

Monolord’s enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, it’s a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that’s more total environment than collection of songs. Together, guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as its fourth member.

“We’ve always been inspired by great band musicians – as opposed to technical solo peacocks,” Willems says. “Because that force of a band really playing together as one single unit is incomparable. At its best, it’s just unstoppable.” And, Monolord is truly unstoppable, on record and on stage. “A heavy groove that contains both bombastic overkill and a lot of dynamics is what we always aim for in Monolord; in playing, in song writing and arranging, in recording,” Willems says.

Album opener “Where Death Meets the Sea” perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks with a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but Monolord uses subtly to spur the song’s skull rattling rhythmic core ever onward. Jäger’s watery vocals glide over ominously building verses that erupt with the song’s insistent refrain. Being such a tight rhythmic unit, it sounds almost like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. “Dear Lucifer” squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover pummel with chasm like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album’s title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro as Jäger sings, “you are the reason that I lied/ You are the reason that I cried/ Please don’t wait until tomorrow/ There’s only pain, hate, grief and sorrow.” Suddenly, the band kicks in with a bellowing line downtuned to B that nosedives down the guitar neck as the drums hammer down for the kill. Elsewhere, tastefully understated guitar harmonies elevate the behemoth churn of “Wormland” and apocalyptic album closer “At Niceae” simmers in a slow build of rumbling guitars and rolling drum triplets.

Monolord formed in 2013, quickly recording their 2xLP debut Empress Rising, which RidingEasy Records released in April 1st, 2014. The second album, Vænir, followed April 28th, 2015. The 2-song Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP was issued in late 2016 amid the band’s relentless touring schedule in order to tide fans over until the next full length. Vænir landed on countless Album of the Year lists in 2015, and Rust is poised to open an entirely new range of possibilities for Monolord.

Also on tour!


07.10.17 NL – Nijmegen / Soulcrusher Festival
08.10.17 FR – Paris / Le Glazart
09.10.17 FR – Nantes / La Scene Michelet
10.10.17 FR – Bordeaux / Le Void
11.10.17 ES – Barcelona / Razz 3
12.10.17 ES – San Sebastian / Dabadaba
13.10.17 FR – Lyon / Jack Jack
14.10.17 FR – Audincourt / Le Molodo
15.10.17 BE – Antwerp / Desertfest
16.10.17 DK – Aarhus / Atlas
17.10.17 DE – Hamburg / Bambi Galore
18.10.17 DE – Berlin / Musik & Frieden
20.10.17 DE – Dresden / Morbus Maximus
21.10.17 DE – Munich / Keep It Low Festival
22.10.17 CZ – Brno / Kabinet Muz
23.10.17 AT – Vienna / Das Bach
24.10.17 CH – Olten / Coq D’or
25.10.17 IT – Bologna / Freakout Club
26.10.17 IT – Milan / Bloom
27.10.17 CH – Winterthur / Gaswerk
28.10.17 DE – Siegen / Vortex

Rust will be available on LP, CD and download on September 29th, 2017 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available at RidingEasy records and Monolord.bandcamp.

Welcome To Monolord official website.

Here you will find music, videos, photos, blogs, up-to-date live dates and much more!


KOKO London 1.5.16

Our attendance for DesertFest this year, was a bit of an unexpected opportunity as I was asked by KOKO London if I’d like to attend and shoot for them! I simply jumped at the chance, as the bands on this years bill were insanely good, sadly, we only got to shoot the bands featuring at KOKO’s venue on the Sunday but the festival took place across three different venues (I actually count 5 on the flyer?) in Camden town, these being Electric Ballroom, The Underworld and KOKO but also hosting bands were The Black Heart and the The Devonshire Arms.

Now in it’s fifth year, they boast to be the UK’s premier independent Stoner Rock, Doom, Psych & Sludge festival and with it’s popularity reaching new heights last year, it continues into 2016 and many more years to come.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s also a Desert Fest event that takes place the weekend before in Berlin and a lot of the acts that play there also play here, in the UK.

Sadly, I missed all the other acts playing at the other venues, but I can’t complain, as KOKO’s line up was equally as good and I love shooting at this venue.

Monolord are a recent discovery for me and I’ve instantly fallen in love with them! The track that got me hooked was their twelve minute stoner epic ‘Empress Rising’ and is currently the most played track within my playlists! As these guys were kicking off the Sunday, I wasn’t expecting to see as many people as I did from the instant the venues doors first opened at around 15.30, this just says the crowd have excellent taste. So an early start, for four bands, with approx 45mins to an hour change overs which I believe is so that people can walk to and from the various venues to see all the acts, which is pretty good.

Esben Willems - Monolord -

These guys are from Gothenburg and consists of;Thomas V Jäger – Guitars & vocals, Esben Willems – Drums and Mika Häkki – Bass.

Elder next, and these guys were raring to go but had to wait for their actual stage time so that people could get to the venue in time and they came in their hundreds! I even saw the band Wo Fat turn up, a Texan riff monster of a band, who I also love but were headlining at The Underworld for Desert Fest this weekend, which I was gutted about missing, but they came and showed their support. I was also gutted about missing Blood Ceremony, but never mind!

Nick Disalvo - Elder

Elder seemed a little nervous at first, but got immensely better as the set went on and by the end, they had the crowd gagging for more! Awesome, what a musical spectacle these guys were and to witness it at KOKO, just made it all the better! For those who don’t like the repetitiveness of some stoner/doom bands, these are far from boring, highly recommended for anyone who loves riffs and clean vocals!

The guys are from New Bedford MA and consists of; Nick Disalvo – guitars and vocals, Jack Donovan – bass and Matt Couto – drums.

Trouble are a band that have been around since 1979, which is a whole year before I was even born, yet are a band I know very little about. I believe the lead singer is a recent addition to the band, although I am aware that the two guitarist are original founding members.

Kyle Thomas - Trouble

As for the rest of the band, I haven’t got a clue, but it was nice to have a classic band, who have most likely been considered pioneers within their genre. As for their set, it was one of the more enjoyable today, as they interacted and joked with the crowd, but above all, they played some superb twinned guitar Psychedelic/doom rock!

Marko Lira - Trouble

These guys are from Chicago IL and consists of;Kyle Thomas : vocals, Bruce Franklin : guitar, Rick Wartell : guitar, Rob Hultz : bass and Marko Lira : drums.

Tonight’s headliners Electric Wizard, amazingly were the only UK band on KOKO’s bill tonight and they hail from the South West. The band are signed to Spinefarm records, which doesn’t surprise me, as I love these and pretty much all the bands on that record label it seems! Although lighting was scarce for their set, I can only assume the band opted to allow their music do all the talking, although the bands female guitarist Liz, is a bit of a looker if I’m to be completely honest!

Liz Buckingham - Electric Wizard

The band were on fire tonight and although this is my first time seeing them, I really hope it isn’t my last as thankfully, the band are playing many festivals around the world this summer, including Download Festival. They also have a new album on the horizon, due for release around October this year, so hopefully they will conduct an extensive UK tour to promote this. If they do – I’m there!

Justin Oborn - Electric Wizard

The band consist of the following; Justin Oborn – Guitar & Vocals, Liz Buckingham – Guitar & Feedback, Clayton Burgess- Lead Bass and Simon Poole – Drums.

All in all, a very enjoyable day was had running around the warren that is KOKO. I love Camden town anyway, as it’s a mecca for what I and many other like minded music folk enjoy and we go many times within a year. I just wish I could go more, if not for the music that features in this town but for the variety of food on offer in and around the venues! I’m so doing my research to find out how I can attend the whole weekend next year as May Bank Holiday 2017 is gonna rock!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)